It is now November 10th and things have begun to move. Not quite a miracle – maybe a miraclette. The tiler’s proved a Godsend (maybe he is the miracle). Despite the fact that he’s charging £20.00 a sq metre he’s agreed to drop the preparation cost. He’s brought his brother in to help. They arrive when they say they are going to, do what they say they are going to do and work quite quickly. The tiling is beautiful so much so that despite the cost we’ve had more of the ensuites tiled than we had intended (another 60 tiles and approx £80 labour).
After hearing nothing from the main builder for a whole week , and discovering that the tilers also fit bathrooms we asked if they would fit the bathroom and toilet for us as we couldn’t see how the main builder would have time (even if he was able to fit the ensuites at the weekend). Not knowing till the moment he turned up on Saturday morning that he was actually coming is no way to run a project. He arrived with the doors and the carpenter. The focus for the weekend was fitting the doors which left no time for the ensuites. We could not help but think we are not at the forefront of his mind. He brought 8 doors – yes we had ordered 8 doors but he’d already fitted two of them. Five of the doors were the wrong size so had to go back, they were therefore only able to fit three and they may (or may not) be able to come back in the week to fit door furniture and may (or may not) be back next weekend to begin the kitchen, Arggg!!
There is some good news though. We found a plumber who gave us a quote on Saturday and carried out moving the gas pipe on Sunday – arrived when he said he would – took as long as he said he would and charged us what he said he would. We’ve also found an alarm engineer who is extremely reliable and his work is brilliant; but then he is the same engineer that fitted the alarm 14 years ago and it has worked perfectly ever since. We are having quotes from two ariel engineers tomorrow and they can carry out the work quickly – even though we need TV points in 6 rooms. And today we gave the ensuite as well as the bathroom and toilet to the tilers and they’ve almost completed one of them already. It was fantastic to see water running in the basin and to hear the toilet flush. They intend to have the two ensuites and the toilet done by tomorrow.
Our biggest headache (apart from the main builder) is finding an electrician. If they are good they are busy and we are asking for a major work to be carried in a very short space of time. We’ve had one taker out of the 5 we’ve approached – and we cannot afford him. We’re thinking of engaging a specialist fire alarm company which would take a significant chunk of the work out and we may then have a taker for the rest. The more off putting things seems to be the alarm system and the metering of the rooms.
Despite this it does feel like things are moving and we’ve had an injection of energy despite working a 7 day week for the last two weeks. We managed a meal out on Saturday night but getting to the cinema to see the new James Bond film was more difficult – don’t think either of us could have stayed awake long enough to watch it – and my friend said Craig is definitiely worth staying awake for.
The result of engaging all these people is a significangt increase in our budget – but maybe it has simply increased to the level it should have been in the first place.
It’s easy to imagine that my life has been completely taken over by the building work – almost but not quite. I’m rehearsing for a drama performance at Birmingham Town Hall on 1st December as part of the World’s Aid Day celebrations, and I’ve been helping to organise a Writers Without Borders/Amnesty International collaboration event on 6th December to celebrate 60 years of the Human Rights Declarations.
And my youngest son has just comeback from a fantastic gig in Berlin – The Fairytale took Berlin by storm. I can’t wait to hear the details.